Thursday, June 19, 2014

Be the Thermostat: Setting the Temperature of Your Home

My dearly loved brothers [and sisters], understand this: Everyone must be quick to hear, slow to speak, and slow to anger, for man’s anger does not accomplish God’s righteousness.” James 1:19-20

Raw emotions. Wow! They can be beautiful, but they can also be unruly…downright sinful. Jesus knew there would be times in this life where we would get angry. That is why he tells us, “In your anger, do not sin.” (Psalm 4:4; Ephesians 4:26) Jesus never said don’t get angry. There are things that should make us angry, but in our anger we should not sin. Jesus modeled righteous anger beautifully when he saw that people were turning his Father’s house (the temple) into a corrupt money exchange, he overturned those tables and chairs and stopped any and all transactions. Don’t believe me? Check out Mark 11:12-18.

However, if I am honest, my anger is not always righteous. Sometimes I am tired and I overreact. Sometimes I assume the wrong thing about my children or a friend. Sometimes I let my raw emotions get the best of me.

I was at a homeschool conference recently where a lady spoke on the importance of being the thermostat in our home, rather than being the thermometer. As you already know, the thermostat controls the temperature. On the other hand, the thermometer measures the temperature. The thermostat is proactive. The thermometer is reactive.

I have found that without a doubt, the BEST way to set the thermostat of my home is to get a head start on my kids. I NEED to wake up before they do and spend time with the Lord. I need to put my spiritual armor on just in case I need to go to battle for them or…dare I say it, against them (strong will coupled with immaturity).

In Lysa TerKeurst’s devotional, “Unglued: 60 Days of Imperfect Progress”, she addresses the difference between a reactor and a responder (similar to being the thermostat or the thermometer). She asks the reader several questions, and I am going to pass them along to you.  Ask yourself:

  1. Do I want to escalate this conflict or dissipate it?
  2. Do I want more trouble or more grace in my life?
  3. Do I want to be known as harsh or gentle?
    • A reactor/thermometer spews emotion or masters the silent treatment.
    • A responder/thermostat gives a gentle answer.
  4. Do I want to get me own way or help find a solution?
  5. Which do I care about more—demanding my rights or displaying right choices?
    • A reactor/thermometer demands her right to be right.
    • A responder/thermostat is more concerned about making right choices before God.

Ladies, let’s be the thermostat of our home. Let’s follow the truth set before us in James 1: 19-20. Let us be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to become angry. Let’s take time to pause and channel our response through the Holy Spirit to make sure we are acting in a way that pleases the Lord, instead of spewing words and actions that we can not take back. Let us be silent and pray before we speak.

Let’s pray:

Lord, thank you that your Word contains every thing I need for living a godly life. May I follow the truth in your word and not lean upon my own understanding. May I make right choices before you. Fill me with your Holy Spirit that I may live a life pleasing to you…that I would leave a trail of love and not destruction in my wake. In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.

For God has not given us a spirit of fearfulness, but one of power, love, and sound judgement.” 2 Timothy 1:7

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